GOVERNMENT is making frantic efforts to force suspended Harare executive mayor Elias Mudzuri to resign his post so that fresh polls can be held at the same time as the general election i
n March next year, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
Highly placed sources in government said Local Government deputy minister Fortune Charumbira had been tasked to convince Mudzuri that resigning would be the best way forward.
“Cabinet has already resolved that Mudzuri must be fired and he could be served with the dismissal letter anytime,” sources said.
“The only stumbling blocks are the court cases that are still pending. If he resigns the cases before the courts will automatically fall away and government would have found the best way to sideline him without justifying its actions in court.”
The sources said Charumbira made the overtures two weeks ago when he invited Mudzuri to his office. Mudzuri was reportedly spotted entering Charumbira’s office and leaving 30 minutes later.
Attempts to lure Mudzuri to quit come at a time when three Harare councillors have resigned from the opposition MDC. The MDC alleges the councillors were paid millions of dollars by Zanu PF as bribes for them to resign from the opposition.
Contacted for comment Mudzuri said he could not discuss his meeting with Charumbira.
“The meeting was a private one so I can’t give you details,” Mudzuri said.
“However, to set the record straight, I am not considering resigning until the people who elected me ask me to do so. Above all I am prepared for a public hearing anytime as long as government avails the necessary documents for my defence.”
Mudzuri conceded that council service delivery has reached record low levels but blamed Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo for interference in the running of the city.
“Chombo is stopping councillors from holding meetings at which they should make decisions on how service delivery could be improved,” he said.
Charumbira could not be reached for comment.